Notes from Berkeley

Yesterday evening I wandered down to Telegraph Ave, on a vague quest for Blonde Redhead CDs or an interesting bar. I found neither. Telegraph is empty on an early summer evening - everything closes up as the sun starts to set, barred shut tight. The area feels seedy. Walking there down Oxford, though, is nicer than walking down Shattuck as I usually have. The campus smells green and nice, and there are people playing frisbee or jogging. Next time I get it in my head to go to South campus, I'll cut through instead.

Sometimes, this town seems small. Particularly when I notice how it is lacking in good bars - which is a blessing and a curse, recalling that the last time I had a local I liked a lot, it resulted in two badly sprained ankles and a vow never to return.

I miss Snow. After 2/3 of a bottle of sake, in particular. The winding, esorteric conversations we have when drunk or slightly so are unique.

I love TGI Sushi on University. I've been going to TGI since I lived in Campbell, where their first location was - a tiny hole in the wall in a strip mall, run by Chris, the charismatic chef and proprietor. I moved to Mountain View and they seemed to be following me - they opened a larger restaurant there, but it never captured the cramped charm of the original.

Finally, I moved here to Berkeley, and they opened down the street. This one is their largest location. The food is always tasty and well priced, the service pleasant, and the atmisphere... well... it varies, I guess. I often go there alone, so the Korean pop music and anime videos keep me entertained. Their waitresses used to wear sailor fuku, but recently changed to a more mundane apron type uniform. When I asked the waitress what happened to the fuku, she said, "We're all grown up now, no more sailor suits." Probably for the best.

While I'm on the topic, I love the Takara Sake Company. Their Nigori sake is affordable, local, and delicious. I've hooked a number of people on it. The shake it requires before pouring adds to the ritual that sake already feels like. It tastes velvety and sweet, and it's almost entirely too easy to get drunk on, as many headaches have evidenced.

Last night no exception.

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